August 11, 2011 Subject:
Short history of the volumes
Samuel Merrill published in 1928 a two-volume set of books describing in detail the Merrill genealogy beginning with the first known ancestor, also known as the primogenitor. The first few chapters deal with the very early history of the Merrill family and then branches into the remainder of the book with the six plus successive generations of the American progenitor thereafter. Samuel published only twenty-six copies, each being gifted to a major genealogical library across the country with a few going to other interested people. Each of the originals were consecutively numbered and noted where they were delivered behind the title page of volume one.
The books are known as "the bible of Merrill genealogy" due to the fact they are so well documented with very few errors. The work leading to the publication was begun in large part by his predecessors Rev. Samuel-Hill Merrill, Gyles Merrill and General Lewis Merrill, where he then took on the arduous task of placing the information into a manageable format and publishing it where future generations could make use of all their work.
The two-volume set was initially published in 1928 by Samuel Merrill for a total of twenty-six copies. A second printing was made by "Parker River Researchers" for $75 in 1983 after gathering enough deposits to make a profitable run. I have seen them listed for resale between $70-$85 for the set. A great buy if you can find them. There are reprints available but the majority are paperback for about the same price, some costing more. Or you could download one of the two free copies right now.
"The printer (Anundsen Publishing Co., 108 Washington Street, Decorah, IA 52101) said that he had made three runs of the book for Noreen Pramburg of [late] "Parker River Researchers" who took books, and had them bound (to save them). This book was run in quantities of 500, 500, and he thought another 250." The two-volume set is hardbound in a medium green backing. It would appear that a few of these were made with the two volumes combined into one book which I understand is blue in color.
The old address was:
Parker River Researchers
Newburyport, MA 01950
but please note that they are no longer in business.
"The first run reprint by "Parker River Researchers" was taken from the copy at NEHGS and is probably the most complete; it was copy #2. Copy #1 went to Samuel's son. Samuel made several handwritten additions to the NEHGS copy that were not in other copies, i.e. the one in Salt Lake. The remaining copies were distributed to various libraries around the country. There are two known notebooks at NEHGS with additional data from Samuel's notes."